More Than Half of Americans Want a Flu Shot Despite the Science

by Dec 8, 2018Health & Vaccines1 comment

A senior woman receiving a vaccination from her doctor. (CDC/Public Domain)

A Medscape article lamenting that almost half of Americans won't get a flu shot offers a good example of how the public is being lied to about the science.

There was an article this week in Medscape titled “Almost Half of Americans to Skip Flu Shot This Year”. Go ahead and click that embedded link in the title to see how the findings of a public opinion survey were presented, as though the fact that nearly half of Americans won’t get a flu shot this year was cause for lamentation. Also take note of the claims being made about the vaccine, including that it creates “herd immunity”.

Okay, have you read it? (No? Really, click here to go read it now. If it’s no longer appearing for you at the original URL, click here to view an archived version.) Good. Now, I’ve taken the liberty of rewriting it the way it should have been written, which is to say with the purpose of educating people to be able to make a truly informed choice rather than to advocate public vaccine policy.

So, with some satirical flair, here you go:

More Than Half of Americans Want a Flu Shot Despite the Science

Almost 60% of Americans have gotten the influenza vaccine this year or plan to ­get vaccinated, despite the CDC’s flu shot recommendation being unsupported by scientific evidence, a new survey indicates.

The survey was conducted in mid-November by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago and showed that 43% of adults had received the flu shot and an additional 14% planned on getting vaccinated; 2% were either undecided or didn’t respond to the question; and only 41% of adults surveyed said they hadn’t gotten a flu shot and don’t intend to.

Unsurprisingly, the highest vaccination rate (62%) was for adults aged 60 and up, who are a key target demographic for vaccine marketing. Healthy young adults have a very low risk of serious complications from influenza, but the elderly are at much higher risk. The CDC has claimed that vaccination greatly reduces the mortality rate among the elderly, even though the studies it has relied on to support this claim have been thoroughly discredited by the scientific community as suffering fatally from a “healthy user” selection bias. While the CDC claims that the data show that vaccinated elderly people have a lower risk of death, what it was really reflecting was the fact that people who are so sickly and frail that they are likely to die before that flu season is over are less likely to get vaccinated.

The recent public opinion survey also showed that 39% of adults with children under 18 years of age in their home said they do not get their children a flu shot.

Scientific Awareness Common

Among those who decline the influenza vaccine, 36% said the reason was that they were aware of the fact that there are health risks associated with vaccination; 31% were aware that the influenza vaccine might actually increase their risk of getting the flu, as studies have shown; and 31% said it was because they recognized that vaccination is not necessary for developing immunity to the flu or because they understood that the vaccine is highly ineffective.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine annual influenza vaccination for everyone aged six months and up, with few exceptions for those falling within the narrow range of officially recognized contraindications.

The CDC has claimed that 80,000 deaths occurred last flu season due to the flu, and the media, including supposed health education websites like Medscape, parrot this as though fact. But the CDC’s estimates of annual flu deaths do not come directly from surveillance data or death certificates, but rather from controversial mathematical models that are based on numerous assumptions that risk greatly overinflating the numbers. By contrast, the actual number of deaths for which influenza is given as the cause each year is on average little more than 1,000.

Caroline Pearson, BA, a senior fellow at NORC, claimed in the organization’s press release that influenza vaccination “helps create ‘herd immunity’ that protects vulnerable groups who are prevented from getting vaccinated”.

Her statement, however, is unsupported by scientific evidence. That the vaccine prevents transmission of the influenza virus is indeed one of the primary assumptions underlying the CDC’s flu vaccine recommendation. The other is that vaccination reduces the risk of serious complications and death.

Neither of these assumptions, however, is supported by scientific evidence. This was pointed out in a review of the scientific literature by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration in 2010, which concluded that the findings of their study “seem to discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure.”

The Cochrane researchers also criticized the CDC for deliberately misrepresenting the science to support its flu shot recommendation.

Moreover, as a 2012 Cochrane review pointed out, while the CDC recommends vaccination for infants as young as six months of age, there was no good evidence that the vaccine was effective in children under three; and for children under two, there was “no usable data” on vaccine safety. While the CDC insists that vaccinating six-month-olds is safe, the Cochrane Collaboration expressed concern at the lack of safety studies, which it said are “urgently required.”

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine even for pregnant women, even though the vaccine manufacturers themselves warn in their vaccine package inserts that the safety of doing so has not been evaluated in clinical trials. A 2014 Cochrane review also pointed out that the number of randomized, placebo-controlled trials assessing the safety of vaccinating pregnant women is zero.

Updates in February 2018 of the Cochrane group’s reviews (of influenza vaccination in children, in healthy adults, and in the elderly) essentially reiterated the lack of scientific evidence supporting the CDC’s universal vaccination recommendation, and a study published in January 2018 found that vaccinated individuals shed more than six times as much aerosolized influenza virus in their breath than those who didn’t get a flu shot.

There is also a body of science showing that getting an annual flu shot can actually increase your risk of illness. This is due to the opportunity costs of vaccination. Naturally acquired immunity is superior and confers protection not only against the infecting strain of the virus, but also against other strains of influenza and evidently even other viruses. The vaccine confers no such benefit, which explains the findings of studies finding an association between vaccination and an increased risk of illness.

Don’t Get Duped By Deceitful Vaccine Propaganda

Unfortunately, what the science actually says isn’t being communicated to the public by government agencies like the CDC, mainstream media corporations like the New York Times, or health publications targeting physicians and healthcare professionals like WebMD’s Medscape, all of which are more interested in advocating public vaccine policy than in doing journalism and educating the public to be able to make an informed choice.

Here’s what I saw when I viewed the article on Medscape:

Medscape delivers flu shot propaganda while earning advertising revenue from vaccine manufacturers. (Screenshot taken December 8, 2018)

Medscape delivers flu shot propaganda while earning advertising revenue from vaccine manufacturers. (Screenshot taken December 8, 2018)

As you can see, Medscape earns advertising revenue from vaccine manufacturers while delivering vaccine propaganda on their behalf.

Learn more about how you are being lied to about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine:

Take Action and Fight Back for Health Freedom

Two more installments are forthcoming of my major influenza vaccine exposé demonstrating how the government and media routinely and systematically deceive the public about the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccine. To make sure you don’t miss them, click here and sign up for my newsletter (you’ll also get a free downloadable report about why you can’t trust the FDA to ensure vaccine safety).

The mainstream corporate media are not doing journalism on this issue. So I’m stepping up to do their job for them. But I can’t do it alone. Nobody is paying me to do this work, and you’ll see no Big Pharma advertisements on this site. You can help me get this vital information out to empower others with the knowledge they need to make an informed choice:

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

By recognizing when we are being lied to and why, we can fight effectively for liberty, peace, and justice, in order to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

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